Thursday, October 14, 2010

Eclectic Method-1

These days, parents of first-time preschoolers are faced with the dilemma: where to enroll their kids. With all the existing teaching methods offered in schools, we can imagine how difficult choosing the right one is.
The Eclectic Method is explained here by Nelle S. Ricardo, school directress of The Children’s House International School (CHINS) in Marikina City and a specialist in Early Childhood Education & SPED (Special Education).
According to Teacher Nelle, the Eclectic method is a combination of different learning approaches, "Or, may I say, it is a variety of teaching methods and curricula to accomplish educational goals." She says this method effectively works for preschoolers and can be applied for elementary grade-schoolers and up as well.
"The teacher-student ratio is a minimum of 10-15 to one teacher and one assistant teacher," she describes. "We adjust our present technologies education to the environment so that learning will not become boring."
She believes that learning should be fun and innovative due to the unique nature and capabilities of each child. "We cannot expect from them to have all reached the same level at the same time. So we need to be creative in using different approaches to capture the learning interest and curiosity of the learners [whether] young or old."
Teacher Nelle considers that the most practical approach a school can adopt is the Eclectic method because it is when "teachers combine different strengths from different philosophies (and, where) most of the time, (they) use their own unique theory, creativity, and vision."
"In the Eclectic approach, the teacher plays and communicates with your child. It is the way your child has of making sense of the world in which the child lives, and of developing the child’s skills – emotionally, socially, intellectually, and physically."
At CHINS, the Eclectic method was adopted based on the belief that children should be valued as unique individuals. "And to promote this belief, we chose this method of teaching so that we can apply individually what we feel is appropriate for each child," says Teacher Nelle.
"That is why we have a curriculum that is creative, innovative, and imaginative. We provide guided opportunities [so that kids] can explore with their senses as many experiences as possible, freeing them to grow and develop in a natural and positive manner."
She adds that the Eclectic method of teaching in a school is just like a fitness center. "If the trainer...just (puts) you (on) a treadmill, then keeping yourself fit and striving for a good body will be a boring (task). It will be harder to reach (your) goal due to monotonous activities. But if (you) have variety, then you’re more likely to achieve what you are aiming for."
In addition, they see play as an important part of their approach because it "enables children to deal with stress and cope with fears they can’t yet understand or express," points out Teacher Nelle. "Today’s young children are exposed to so much so early and must cope with more than their predecessors ever did." Thus, play gives them the necessary emotional release which helps them make sense of everything they’re experiencing.
Moreover, play stimulates creative imagination. "So instead of doing only what is required to fulfill their schoolwork tasks, they invest extra mental effort to pursue their own goals for learning," she expounds. "These concepts are also organized in a thematic set-up incorporating the various and developmental learning areas and activities appropriate for the age level of the child."
"Students nowadays always want something new and exciting," she states. "[So] learning should not be boring and stressful." Based on Teacher Nelle’s teaching experience, she says their students enjoy going to school. "They love the environment and are excited (about) what they are going to learn for the day. They have a positive concept of what a school is (and) learning becomes easier for them."
The Eclectic approach, according to her, is very appropriate for their preschoolers as it represents a chance for the children to develop all the essential early life skills "by learning in a creative and stimulating environment and gaining the confidence to fulfill their potentials as learners."
As they are working towards developing the said skills in their students, Teacher Nelle says they run a program known as the ‘process-centered’ approach where they place great importance on the courses of action by which children discover and learn. "If we can instill good ways of learning things now, it will certainly help them in their efforts at school and all through life."
CHINS is located at No. 81 Champagnat cor. Narra Streets Marikina Heights, Marikina City.

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